1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. We play slow and heavy downtuned stoner/doom, with mostly clear vocals. I have also always said that we are not just heavy and sludge, that there is this classic rock element with Pohjoinen, maybe not in the sound, but in song structures, we use lotsa verse chorus stuff, we have guitar soloes, stuff like that.
2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. We only have done 1 demo tape before, but from the start Pohjoinen haas gone quite a journey. The band started with totally different mindset about what kinda music it should do, but the road we started to travel did not lead where we tought it would lead, and after few change in the line up, we are here with our first album. Also I have to say, that the journey continues, and when ever our next album will be out, it will be some what different compared to this one.
3.This is the first release in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
3. I think the previous question answer to this one also, but it has been a journey, we have been making songs, in fact we make lots of material, some of them new go to live gigs, some we maybe play on one gig and then forget, throw away, the band is an ongoing proses, there is no goal, no end, only the journey and the love for music and arts in general.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
4. With this record, death is a big theme, but in various forms, also personal growth is one big theme, some occult/spiritual stuff, but mostly its about being a human being, this body and mind, we born, we live we die and we expereince all kinda stuff. Thats what I write about, everything that I experience... and about death :) Death is something I need to explore and music has always been my way to proses things.
5.I know that the band name is Finnish for 'north', how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
5. When this band was formed we used lots of time to come up with the name, but we just could not think a name good enough. We wanted it to finnish, dark, deep. In fact it was none of the band members, present or former, who came up with the name, it was one of our friends, he just said: "how about Pohjoinen", and it clicked rightaway, in one word it told where we are coming from, physically and mentally. So its not just the north of this planet, its also a "mental-north", dark and cold nights, but also long days when the sun never sets :)
6.What are some of the best shows that the band ha splayed so far nad also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. I must that our last show, the realease gig for this record is one the best we have ever played. It was a two day bar-festival for this kinda music here in Helsinki, Finland, and we were the first band, so all those things I think gave us all the little bit more energy and focus.
For our live shows I for one try to make a performance, also give something to watch for the people, but as I have guitar, singing and all the effect pedals at my feet, its sometimes hard to find the time for the performance bit, but when I have the time, I try to take everything out of it. I also have this bad habbit of singing with my eyes closed, so I also try make an eye contact with everyone in the audience, atleast once. As Jim Morrison said, there is no audience without the permormer, and there is no performer with out the audience, they both need each other, and what else is performance than exhange of energy? So that´s why it is important that you try your best to include the audience to the show and also they are a great source of energy, even if there is only few people there, you only need one to exhange with :)
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
7. We have no tour booked, just gigs here and there, but we are trying to make something happen. As we have to do it all ourselves, its little slow and hard, but little by little it will get easier. There is no limit for gigs, we can and will play as much as we get.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner and doom metal?
8. The feedback we have gotten has been good, you could see the language as a barrier, but you can also see it as unique thing, its a part of that puzzle that makes us us. Thats why we are not afraid of pushing this also outside of Finland.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9. As I said, this is a ongoing journey, the new songs we have, some of them are even doomier, some are more classic rock, some are more psychedelic, some are more the same, so you could say, we will be more us, we will have more of everything we now have and we will go where ever this road takes us, what ever it will be.
The stupidest thing you can do as an artist is start to limit yourself when you can be much happier when you just let everything flow through you and let manifest to music freely through you, not making too many rules and limits.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10. When people ask what kinda music you play, I dont like to use the term stoner rock, I usually say "We play Black Sabbath kinda music", so there is one big influence.
For bands, there is lot and they differ from member to other, but for me as song writer the biggest once have been Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Down, Church of Misery, Weedeater, Opeth, Pink Floyd, and many many others, Mastodon etc...
I do listen a lots of different types of music, from Lana del Rey to Napalm Death, so there is no short answer to this one :)
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
11. Movies, spirituality in all of its forms, arts in general, be it poems or paintings, any kind of "food for the souls", be it from this world or where ever, with open but critic mind.
One thing that has hitted me hard in recent times has been stand-up comedy. But not the basic one liner dudes, I mean people like Robert Anton Wilson and Doug Stanhope. Our bass player infact told me about Doug and I started to dig him from that very moment, listening to our bass player telling me these stories. When I got home from those rehersals I started up youtube and watched everything I could.
Its not just the comedy I like about him, as I said, I could care less about those people who just try to be funny with oneliners, with Doug, hes there to tell you about the world where you live in, make you think and hold nothing sacred, sacrfice everything in the altar of comedy for the sake of kwonledge and could I say "enlightenment", to make you think, and better than that, to make you question things and to make you realize! I think that is his main goal, to make us realize something, but I bet he would say hes main goal is to get drunk free of charge or something like that, but hey, thats ok too :P
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Thanks for this interview, this is in fact the first one we have done. Everyone go and check our record from pohjoinen.bandcamp.com! - Tumppi/Pohjoinen.